Austintown man accused in $7 million Wisconsin jewelry store heist

Local News

Authorities think he was involved in a complex jewelry store burglary in 2016

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – An accused “professional burglar” from Austintown is now charged in a huge 2016 heist in Wisconsin.

Documents were filed this week in federal court, suggesting two raids in Austintown last September were part of the investigation.

One was at a home belonging to James Quinn.

Authorities near Milwaukee think Quinn was involved in a complex jewelry store burglary. More than $7 million in diamonds, watches and other items were taken.

The July 2016 burglary itself was very sophisticated.

According to the federal complaint filed against Quinn, the thieves were able to cut cable and phone lines to disable the alarm systems outside the store. They also disabled and bypassed alarms inside as well and then managed to cut into the store’s vault using sledgehammers and power tools.

However, investigators wonder if the heist had not been planned many months earlier.

The store’s video surveillance caught two men peering in through the front windows with flashlights early one morning in July 2015. Last year, investigators from Wisconsin came to the area and met with local detectives, as well as agents with the FBI and Ohio BCI. They showed the local officers photos made from that 2015 video and both Quinn and another man were identified, both described as well-known “professional burglars.”

Agents were able to obtain search warrants of Quinn’s home on New Road as well as another under construction at the corner of Kenmar Circle and Oakwood Avenue in Austintown. Agents reported recovering a pair of cell phones as well as $2,450 in cash on Kenmar. They also said they recovered several jewelers’ “loupes,” which are used to magnify small objects such as diamonds and other jewels.

When agents downloaded Quinn’s phones, they discovered a number of calls made to addresses in and around the area where the burglary occurred within days of the break-in.

Quinn now faces several charges of transporting stolen goods over state lines and conspiracy.

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